The European Union has beaten Britain to the punch in opening trade talks with Australia and New Zealand, after the European Council gave the green light to full negotiations between the partners on Tuesday. Brexiteers had previously trumpeted a possible trade deal with the two Anglosphere Commonwealth countries as a potential benefit of Brexit, but the EU will now have a year’s head start over the UK in getting a deal finalised – with an official ceremony due later this month. The EU’s trade commissioner said she looked forward to welcoming the Commonwealth countries into the EU’s “ever-growing circle of close trading partners” after the council approved the negotiating mandate, while critics in the UK said the British government had been “outfoxed”. Read more Are countries really ‘queuing up for trade deals’ with Brexit UK? Theresa May has claimed that Brexit “was the moment we chose to build a truly global Britain” and hoped to secure trade deals around the world with other countries to make up for the economic hit from leaving the EU. Progress has been slow so far, however, with some partners such as Japan saying they would prioritise the EU ahead of Britain, or others such as the… Read full this story
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